Here is a picture of Pastora Nurys, Dr. Alberto, Pastor/Professor Wilmer and Dan W. Dunn in the new kitchen in Wilmer's church in Nirgua. Alberto and Wilmer are graduates and professors in the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela and Nurys is a current student, along with her son, Alberto In a post on my FB wall Wilmer just said: "To realize a dream is indescribable. I received it in 2003 while taking a class of one of the most extraordinary men I know, Warren Lathem. God planted a vision in my heart that is now a reality: The center of distribution of food produced by Julio Salvatierra.This is a ministry that is responsible for giving food to the elderly in extreme poverty." (rough translation by Warren Lathem)
What a joy to share together in the work of Christ in Venezuela with great Christian leaders God is raising up, such as these. It is amazing what the Spirit is doing in Venezuela.
We need helers with this work. Is God calling you?
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
1:3 “I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 1:3-6)
I want you to know I am praying for you and giving thanks for your “partnership in the gospel” in Venezuela. Your encouragement, support, prayers and giving have been critical to the advancement of the work of the kingdom in Venezuela.
Now we have a great opportunity for you! The Disciples in Song will present a concert to celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela in the Mount Pisgah UMC Sanctuary in Johns Creek on Saturday, April 14 at 7:00. Enclosed is a ticket for free admission. Simply fill it out and present it at the door. Other free tickets will be available at the door for your family and friends! Please plan to come and bring all your friends. This will be a great fun night of celebrating what God is doing in Venezuela and wonderful Southern Gospel Singing.
What a great month we have had since our last report! We taught two weekend extension courses in Nirgua on the Mission of the Church. 26 students attended, 18 of which were NEW students!
|Warren teaching in Nirgua with Dr. and Mrs. Mendoza|
We also taught a course on our campus to 27 students, Transformational Worship. What a great time we had in both classes. The students are the most responsive and hungry we have ever taught in any seminary!
|Dr. Dan Dunn, Teaching|
Additionally, Dr. Dan Dunn taught an Inductive Bible Course, Pentateuch I to over 20 students. They so loved the course and the previous experiences, many who will graduate in August are petitioning us to offer a graduate degree so they can continue their theological education. That is after they have spent at least 6 years earning their undergraduate degree!
The greatest reward for me was to get to visit in several of our Methodist Churches while in Venezuela and see the remarkable work being done by our students and alumni of the Seminary.
|Dr. Dan Dunn, Pastor Anibal, Dr. Warren Lathem, Student Oscarcaption|
One such place was Restoration UMC where Carlos and Maria are pastors, both gradates of our first class. When we first met them, they were planting a church in a new poor barrio west of Barquisimeto. Their church consisted of external walls, a gravel floor and a small covered chancel area. Wednesday night when we preached there in the second floor sanctuary over 300 attended and several made commitments to Christ. Later over dinner we discussed the NINE new congregations they have planted in Venezuela in the last 10 years and toured their new 24/7 Christian radio station which reaches a population of over 300,000 people. Later in the week we visited in one of their new church plants, Valle Dorado, when they have started a new congregation, but are also in the process of building a facility to house unwed mothers, provide a medical clinic and pharmacy, and a Christian School, in additional to the traditional church ministries.
I also go to attend the service at The Net UMC where students, Franklin and Hilde, have planted a new congregation focused on reaching the hundreds of vendors who set up for the Sunday Market in downtown Barquisimeto. Their service is at 5pm so the Vendors can attend after their work day. Additionally, they provide programing all day on Sunday for the children of the Vendors, children who previously were without any Christian experience or education.
It was a joy for me to preach in the Kabod church in Nirgua where Dr. Alberto and Nurys planted a church as a result of their experience in the Seminary. This congregation has over 20 of its leaders enrolled in courses at the Seminary, where Dr. Alberto also serves as a faculty member. They are in the process of completing construction on a new facility located in the very center of Nirgua. They have cooperatively worked with another alumni in town and started a food ministry preparing and delivering meals 5 days a week to poor elderly shut-ins. This is the first ministry of its kind in that city.
It was a joy to travel to preach in Pastor Anibal’s church about 1 hour north of Barquisimeto. Anibal is a school principal and a graduate of the Seminary. As a part of the service he had seminary students from his church each give a testimony of what their experience in the Seminary had meant to their spiritual development. 10 shared, including his son, Oscar, who will also likely graduate this August. Their vision is to raise up leaders who will start new congregations all over Venezuela!
Oh, there are so many more stories to tell. Raphael, who hosted the extension course in Nirgua and his testimony of a total transformation of his life by the grace of Jesus and his determination to use his 50 acre family farm for a ministry to the church in Venezuela; Ani, a severely handicapped saint who prays and worships with absolute abandon and loves with an unconditional love; Jorge who came to Jesus in Nirgua and told about a life of deliverance from the addiction of alcohol; Maria who testified to the miraculous power of being healed from terminal cancer; and so many more than we can possibly share with you.
An I have not even mentioned that we will be adding a medical clinic to the campus of the Seminary and how God has provided for that reality through a Government approved foundation started by an anlumus so that all we have to do is raise the money construct the building. And God is leading in that provision in miraculous ways as well.
So much to tell. So much to tell. It will take an eternity to tell about all God is doing in Venezuela and you are a great part of that. Thank you!
Now we need your help. First, pray. When one ventures into the “stronghold of the devil” one encounters opposition such as many can never imagine. That is certainly the case in Venezuela. However, we know the Battle belongs to the Lord! But prayer warriors, we need you to pray for this ministry every day. Follow me or Dan W. Dunn on Facebook and you will see many specifics for how we need your prayers.
Secondly, we need you to give generously and sacrificially. We have just about depleted our financial resources through the rapid growth of the class offerings in the Seminary and the many physical improvements we are required to make on the property. For example, we just spent about $5,000 adding 15,000 liters of water storage on campus, an absolute essential for our operations. We need immediately to spend another $4,000 on some roof repairs and we just do not have the funds to do this. Perhaps you can help with this.
Finally, please come to the Disciples in Song concert April 14 at 7 at Mount Pisgah. We want to see you and celebrate the great 10 years of ministry of the Seminary and look ahead at some of the exciting things God is about to do there.
Mark your calendar!! April 14, 7, Mount Pisgah. The Disciples in Song, Dan and Nancy Dunn, Jane and I will see you there!
Remember: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.”
Please send you check to Venezuela Now, Inc. PO Box 1655, Duluth, GA 30076
|Anni, one of the Methodist Prayer Warriors in the Ondas de Paz UMC and a dear friend to the Seminary|